I’ve started a routine of having a heart to heart talk to God every day about everything that’s on my mind. The purpose was to strengthen my connection and sense that I can turn to God for whatever I need.
As I was ranting about all the things I need help with and problems I need to solve it didn’t feel right. I felt like I was just kvetching and it didn’t make me feel any better at the end of it. It only made me feel worse. (Hmm, a thought about therapy…)
I ask myself: How would I be talking to God if I really felt connected? I don’t want to relate to God as if I’m talking to a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. I’m talking to God who is my father who cares and loves me deeply. And thinking of a father I thought to tell my Father in heaven that it hurts, and I imagined God saying to me tenderly, “What hurts? Where does it hurt? Tell me about it.”
And then one of the verses in Psalms that had resonated the day before came back to me. Serve God in fear and be joyful in trembling. What does it mean to be a servant? It means you don’t have a will of your own. Your master’s will becomes your will. If I choose to make God’s will my own, then even when I am trembling because this that and the other thing is going wrong, I’m genuinely happy.
Getting everything to go right is not my aim and it’s not the source of my happiness. The opposite of trembling is being carefree. Ironically the tendency to complain comes from trying desperately to be carefree while equally desperately attempting to control everything and everyone. My complaining came from a place of trying to control everything that’s not in my control. As soon as I stopped trying to control what was not in my control while being aware that God is in control, I experienced a shift.
At the start, the conversation was filled with complaints of one sort after another until I felt like I was the inbox. – When will this pile of garbage go away?
My goal had been to get it to go away. But as soon as one thing is gone another piece of garbage lands there in its place. Until I “got it” that getting rid of the pile is not the goal.
There will always be more garbage to take out. There will ALWAYS be dishes in the sink!
Then I started to look at the world with new eyes. In place of my complaining tone came a tone of curiosity:
1) What am I going to learn next?
2) How am I going to stretch next?
3) What are God and I going to create together next?
I came to realize that the goal is not to get rid of life’s obstacles but who you can become in the process of surmounting them.